Why is it that people can’t get along?
Many times, it’s just plain poor communication. I overheard a conversation this afternoon and every cell in my body wanted to go over to the table, lean down really close to their faces and ask these two people, “Are you actually listening to each other or are you only committed to expressing your own ideas? There was no communication going on – it was two people talking parallel to each other.
I recently read this simple but profound quote from Martin Luther King Jr.
People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.
With no disrespect to this marvellous quote, I would take it farther. I would add “they haven’t communicated with each other because they haven’t prioritized understanding each other; they haven’t prioritized understanding each other because they are fools.”
I recently learned that the fool appears more than seventy times in Proverbs alone and according to the author of this book, we have two options; we can grow in wisdom and draw others into wisdom or we can grow in folly and draw others into foolishness – that’s a truth that’s really important to internalize.
The problem is that foolishness is second nature to us and if you put two fools together, frustration will fester, hearts will close, tempers will flail and communication will be impossible. Words will be spoken but no words will be understood.
I just finished doing a very cool study on foolishness and next week, I’m going to do some blogging on what I’m calling, Cockamamy Communication. I really believe that often, conversations are made up of two people demanding to be understood but neither is truly listening. Foolishness shows its true colors in poor communication.
English churchman and historian, Thomas Fuller once said, “The fool wanders; a wise man travels.”
There is no path to follow when foolishness leads the way.
There is no real connection when the priority is what you say.
As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10.1 NIV